News Release
For Immediate Release:
February 02, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Brockton Attorney Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice and Money Laundering

FEB 02 -- Boston, MA... On the opening day of his trial, a Brockton attorney pled guilty today in federal court to charges of Obstruction of Justice and Money Laundering.

Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Boston Field Division; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Joann Zuniga, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue’s Criminal Investigations - Boston Field Division; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division; and Colonel Mark Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced today that LAWRENCE NOVAK, age 54, of 235 Candy Lane, Brockton, Massachusetts pled guilty to the Indictment charging him with one count of Endeavoring toObstruct Justice and two counts of Money Laundering.

“The integrity of our system of justice requires lawyers to obey our laws, be faithful to our oaths of office and our ethical standards,” stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan. “Allegations of an attorney offering to file false and misleading documents in our courts, and efforts to hide and launder illegal drug money undermines our criminal justice system.”

According to the Indictment and the prosecutors’ statements in Court, NOVAK, an attorney, filed false and misleading documents in Massachusetts State Court in an effort to invalidate a client’s prior state convictions. At the time the client had drug charges pending against him in federal court, and invalidating the client’s prior state convictions would result in the client receiving a shorter sentence if convicted of the drug charges in federal court.

NOVAK attempted to launder $107,000 in cash that he believed his client obtained from selling drugs. NOVAK deposited the money into a client trust account and then caused checks to be written to third-parties in an effort to conceal the source of the money. The United States is forfeiting the $107,000 in illegal proceeds.

NOVAK faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine for each of the two Money Laundering charges. He faces up to 10years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the Endeavoring to Obstruct Justice charge.